ENT courses: Spring 2023

Foundational Courses

Pick one of the following for the ENT Minor

Instructor: Tina Weber, Lecturer

When: Fall and spring

Description:

There is no better way to understand how to create, plan and run a business than to learn how to start one. In this course we will introduce the core mindset and skillset behind new venture creation. Students will learn how to systematically explore their own passions and desire for impact to find problems worth solving, team up with other students with similar industry or sector interests, and learn how to build a new, standalone venture by building and pitching one during the semester. Students will learn tools and frameworks from practicing entrepreneurs. The mindset and skillset you will learn will form a strong foundation for you to further explore additional topics in innovation, entrepreneurship, and leadership.

Upon completion of the course, students will have learned to speak the language of business and understand the process of starting a new venture. Specifically, they will:

  • Adopt an entrepreneurial mindset, including the ability to be nimble, agile, iterative, willing to take risks and learn from failure
  • Understand the basic principles behind innovation and new venture creation, including but not limited to:
    • Exploring their personal sense of purpose while finding and addressing problems worth solving
    • Analyzing market opportunities and selecting attractive market targets
    • Understanding the market, customer, key stakeholders, and what is required to create a solution that is better than current alternatives
    • Developing a go-to-market strategy, including an effective marketing plan and viable business model
    • Building a financially sustainable venture that is either bootstrappable and/or fundable
    • Learning how to build and contribute to a high performing team, and the logistics around building a company
    • Developing effective pitching and presentation skills

Note: This course or an acceptable substitute is required for the Entrepreneurship minor.

Preview syllabus

Instructor:  Gavin Finn, Ph.D., Professor of the Practice

When: Spring Term

Description:

This is an introductory entrepreneurship course for Computer Science students. The course provides an overview of entrepreneurship, develops an entrepreneurial perspective, and provides a framework for learning the fundamentals of the essential elements of entrepreneurial ventures. This course is specifically directed toward software-related industries and products. Students learn how to develop their technical ideas into potential business opportunities, and to explore their likelihood of becoming viable businesses. They learn how to do market research, to develop go-to-market strategies, value propositions, and to differentiate their products or services from actual or potential competitors. The course consists of a balance of lectures, projects, case studies, and interaction with entrepreneurs and computer scientists who participate in entrepreneurial organizations.

Restrictions on Enrollment: Must have at least Sophomore standing. This course requires department consent (Computer Science major or minor). Pre-requites include: Computer science or data science majors and minors with junior or senior standing OR completion of a Computer Science undergraduate degree prior to enrollment.

Notes: Taught in partnership with Tufts Department of Computer Science; Cross-listed as COMP 150

 

Additional Entrepreneurship Courses

Exploratory courses

Instructor: Staff

When:  Fall and Spring

Description:

This introductory course is designed for students curious about how to unleash their creative spirits to solve big problems with innovative solutions. You will learn a variety of skills, including ideation techniques, design thinking and more to help stimulate brainstorming and creativity. You will apply these skills in rapid ideation workshops, where you will repeatedly challenge your brain to come up with out-of-the-box solutions to real world problems in startup, corporate, non-profit and government settings. You will develop creative problem-solving capabilities that can help you succeed in personal and professional settings.

Along the way, you will meet innovators and entrepreneurs, hear their stories, and learn how they apply these mindsets and skillsets to their work.

No restrictions on Enrollment: All undergraduate and graduate students are welcome, including first-year undergrads. No prior experience in design thinking, innovation or entrepreneurship is needed to take this class.

Preview Syllabus

Core courses (At least 6 credits from this list is required for the ENT Minor)

Instructor: Frank Apeseche, Professor of the Practice

When: Fall and Spring

Description:

This course focuses on developing and applying the financial skills that are needed to successfully manage commercial and social enterprises. Students will learn how to construct a financial business plan for a startup, analyze and contrast the financial statements of existing companies, and evaluate business opportunities to optimize financial outcomes and avoid financial peril. Students will also learn about the different forms of company financing and how professional investors and lenders evaluate companies. By the end of the course students will understand how to financially position a company to maximize its potential of raising appropriate capital. The course is taught through a variety of readings, problem sets, case studies and team exercises. It is hands-on.

This course has a rigorous workload. This includes the numerous problem sets and Harvard Business School cases previously mentioned, as well as a capstone term project where each student will create a fully vetted financial plan for a startup or existing company. After taking the course students will gain a mastery of how to:

  1. analyze the financial statements of a company
  2. build pro forma financial statements for new product (or service) initiatives, department budgets within a company, or a simple business
  3. quantify and apply core financial return concepts such as net present value, internal rate of return, multiple on investment, payback, ROI, leveraged versus unleveraged return, dilution, and break-even analysis to vital business applications
  4. apply the financial principles to evaluate a new product or business idea, and its impact on the financial health and performance of the businesses
  5. complete a simple valuation of a business and construct its enterprise value, market value of equity, post-money value and pre-money value
  6. utilize financial management, reporting and analysis to improve business performance and avoid financial jeopardy
  7. develop a fully vetted financial business plan

Restrictions on Enrollment: Must have at least Sophomore standing. Recommended prerequisite: ENT 101

Preview syllabus here.

 

Instructor for Section 1: Jack Derby, Professor of the Practice

Instructor for Section 2: Gavin Finn, Ph.D., Professor of the Practice

When: Fall and Spring

Description:

This course focuses on institutional and product marketing methods used by start-up to medium-sized companies. After an overview of basic marketing principles, the course will cover the spectrum from day-to-day marketing activities of the entrepreneurial business to positioning and strategy. Students will learn to analyze, formulate, and implement marketing strategies, explore concepts for understanding customer behavior and creating an entrepreneurial marketing strategy, and learn the fundamentals of market research, pricing, and reaching and selling to customers.

Restrictions on Enrollment: Must have at least Sophomore standing. Recommended prerequisite: ENT 101

Note: This course is required for the Entrepreneurship minor.

Instructor: Jack Derby, Professor of the Practice

When: Spring

Description:

Marketing isn’t Sales, and Sales isn’t Marketing, but they are both joined at the hip since every product, every service and job needs to “sold” in order to close any deal.  Our “Science of Sales” course explores process, tools, technology, metrics and most importantly, the people that are required to actually sell, close orders and bring in revenue.

Restrictions on Enrollment: Must have at least Sophomore standing

Instructor for Sections 1 and 2: Beth McCarthy, Lecturer

When: Fall and Spring

Description:

This course is designed to help students develop the knowledge, confidence, skills, and self-image necessary to pursue entrepreneurial ventures in such domains as business, government, and public service. It provides a foundation in the fundamentals of entrepreneurial leadership, as well as a source of inspiration and energy in the art and science of taking visions and bringing them to reality.

Restrictions on Enrollment: Must have at least Sophomore standing. Recommended Prerequisite: ENT 101

Preview syllabus

Skills deep dive

Instructor: Josh Wiesman, Professor of the Practice

When: Spring

Description:

The Bringing a Product to Market course covers the design process of a consumer product from ideation to pre-production of a new product. The course teaches the consumer centered design process through lectures and the creation, engineering, and prototyping of a novel product. Students learn to identify and evaluate a problem (opportunity), create, develop, test (with consumers), and
select best prototyping strategies for their product. Basic project and risk management, engineering, and analysis skills are used to deliver a robust working product on time and on budget. Students are assumed to be competent in basic problem solving skills.

Restrictions on Enrollment: Must have at least Sophomore standing

Preview Syllabus

Instructor: Staff

When: Spring Term

Credits: 3 credits

Location: Remote

Description:

This is a course focused on the most critical success factor in creating not just young startups and emerging companies, but also any business of any size. This course, taught by a highly experienced human resource executive, focuses on the entire chain of talent management from recruiting, hiring, and onboarding new employees to the overall personnel management of the business. This course outlines the strategic planning surrounding building the organizational structure while exploring the tactics of objective setting, hiring and firing decision making, compensation structures and reviews, and employee development. This course is open to undergraduates and graduate students who are interested in bringing an innovative and entrepreneurial mindset to both startups and corporate jobs early in their careers.

Restrictions on Enrollment: Must have at least Sophomore standing

Sector Focus

Instructor: Julianne Zimmerman, Lecturer

When: Spring Term

Description:

Innovative Social Enterprises is structured to provide students a highly interactive exploration of core skills vital to social entrepreneurs. We start with awareness (self, context, relationships) and move quickly to practicing requisite disciplines (asking questions; testing and reframing assumptions; forming teams and other alliances; identifying opportunities, risks, and resources; giving and critiquing pitches; making go / no-go decisions). We will practice an iterative rhythm of weekly information gathering, sensing, assessment, and reframing, with emphasis on creating compelling value for multiple stakeholders. Students will engage in individual reflection, individual and team pitching, and active discussion. This course is designed to equip students with a practical discipline of asking effective questions. Whether students aim to found social enterprises, join social enterprises, or possibly fund, regulate, or incubate social enterprises, they will come away with sharpened agency and actionable practices for innovative leadership in the social enterprise sphere.

Restrictions on Enrollment: Must have at least Sophomore standing

Notes: Taught in Partnership with Tisch College; Cross-listed as AMER 141, TCS 141

Preview syllabus

 

Instructor: Jimmy Edgerton, Lecturer

When: Spring Term

Credits: 3 credits

Location: Remote

Description:

This course is designed to introduce students to the theory and practice of entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurial theory and practice relevant to the nutrition/food space will be discussed from the perspectives of a stand-alone start-up company and within larger organizations. This course is designed for students interested in exploring how entrepreneurship can be incorporated into food and nutrition and who may wish to begin to build an entrepreneurial skill set. Course topics will include ideation, finding potential investors, pitch development and pitching skills, competitive analysis, market sizing, business plan development, basic entrepreneurial finance and legal issues, entrepreneurial ethics, and management skills needed to run an entrepreneurial venture. Final products of the course will be a pitch presentation and a written business plan.

Restrictions:

Undergraduate students must have sophomore standing and will only be admitted to the course by permission of the instructor.

 

Immersive Experiences

Approver: Elaine Chen, Director, DEC; Cummings Family Professor of the Practice in Entrepreneurship

When: Fall and Spring

Description:

The Entrepreneurial internship allows students to earn credit while working as an intern for their company sponsor during the semester. Under the guidance of a faculty member serving as an entrepreneurial advisor, students have a chance to apply concepts learned in the classroom and acquire new skills as they address real life challenges.

In this course, the student assumes an employee role in the company. Internships typically involve students serving in a functional role with an entrepreneurial focus, such as product management, entrepreneurial marketing and sales.

This internship will be graded (see syllabus for details on requirements and enrollment process).

 

Approver: Elaine Chen, Director, DEC; Cummings Family Professor of the Practice in Entrepreneurship

When: Various Terms

Credits: 3 credits

Location: On-Campus

Description:  Classroom Operating Officers, known as COO’s receive course credit for providing leadership and student support for Entrepreneurship courses. By taking Inside the Classroom, you will assist in coaching peers, organizing course work, attendance tracking, and observing group work.

Restrictions on Enrollment: Registration requires department consent

Pre-requisite: Having taken the course you are proposing to support and earned an "A" grade is a prerequisite. Additionally, permission/invitation by faculty is required. Limit 2 students per ENT class.

Faculty expectations:

  • COO Selection should be made prior to the start of the semester, ideally by the end of the previous semester
  • The opportunity should be announced in class and Canvas site to encourage multiple candidates
  • The student should have successfully completed the course prior to accepting the role of COO
  • Faculty should email name and Tufts ID number for the COO’s to carol.denning@tufts.edu to provide special permission in SIS for the student to register for ENT194.04 Special Topics- Inside the Classroom
  • The selected COO’s should be added to Canvas as assistants and announced to the class with a description of the role and responsibilities
  • The COO grade should be determined by the quality of fulfillment of the COO expectations

COO Expectations:

  • COO must register for ENT194.04 Inside the Classroom at least 2 weeks prior to the start of semester
  • COO must submit work plan with agreed upon objectives within 2 weeks of start of semester
  • COO must submit 1-page formal reflections halfway through the semester
  • COO must submit 1-page formal reflections at the end of the semester, highlighting what the COO gained from the experience along with recommendations
  • Time commitment is 6-9 hours a week, inclusive of class time
  • Assist with course prep and provide input on syllabus
  • Act in an advisory capacity to students and respond to student inquiries in a timely manner
  • Provide guidance and motivation to students and communicate expectations on projects and assignments
  • Review papers and projects, provide feedback, lead discussions, and participate in assessments; faculty is responsible for assignining grades
  • Negotiate and resolve conflicts
  • Support faculty to create a quality learning experience for students

Preview syllabus here.

 

 

Approver: Elaine Chen, Director, DEC; Cummings Family Professor of the Practice in Entrepreneurship

When: Fall and Spring

Credits: 3 credits

Location: Remote

Description:

This immersive course enables students to apply the learning and skills acquired by other courses on Entrepreneurship to the creation and development of their own new venture. Under the guidance of a faculty member serving as an entrepreneurial advisor, students have a chance to apply concepts learned in the classroom and acquire new skills as they address real life challenges.

In this course, the student assumes a co-founder role in the venture. The student will operate with the mindset of a business owner (responsible for overall strategy and operations for all aspects of the venture), not a functional leader (responsible for one department such as marketing, sales, engineering or the like).

The new venture that the student is building can be for-profit, not-for-profit or in the context of a government agency or university or association.

This field study will be graded (see Syllabus for rubric, restrictions and enrollment process).